If a multinational business owner wants to transfer foreign employees to a Canadian location, an intra-company transfer to Canada is available. The foreign employee must currently work for a company with an office in Canada, or a company that plans to open a location in Canada, to apply for an intra-company transfer temporarily to live and work at the Canada location.

How to Apply For an Intra-company Transfer to Canada

A qualified intra-company transferee will require a Temporary Work Permit to move to Canada to continue to work for their same company at the location in Canada. Canada considers foreign worker intra-company transfers an important economic benefit that provides long-term benefits to the economy and creates jobs for Canadians, and a pathway to permanent residence.

Intra-company Transfer Qualifications

Qualified foreign workers may be eligible as intra-company transfers (ICTs) to Canada and exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) if they provide an economic benefit to Canada, as determined by the International Mobility Program (IMP) of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), or are a citizen of a country who has signed a NAFTA agreement with Canada.

Foreign workers in 3 categories are eligible to work in Canada under the Intra-Company Transfer program:

  • Executives and Senior Managers
    • Senior-level employees who direct the company goals and policies, and are supervised by high-level executives, board members and stakeholders.
    • Duration 7 years; can reapply after one year of full-time employment in the company outside Canada.
  • Functional Managers
    • Supervise the work of other managers and professional employees or have high-value asset responsibilities.
    • Duration 7 years; can reapply after one year of full-time employment in the company outside Canada.
  • Workers With Specialized Knowledge
    • ICT employees who possess “knowledge at an advanced level of expertise” and “proprietary knowledge of the company’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques or management”.
    • Duration 5 years; can reapply after one year of full-time employment in the company outside Canada.

IRCC qualifications for an intra-company transfer to Canada include that applicants:

  • will need to obtain a Temporary Work Permit
  • must prove they are transferring from the same or a related company outside of Canada
  • have worked continuously for the company that plans to transfer them in a similar full-time position for at least one year in the most recent three-year period
  • have specialized knowledge, executive or senior management experience

FAQs About Intra-Company Transfers

1. How long does the ICT application process take?
Intra-company transfer applications are typically quickly approved, often within 2-3 months.

2. Can intra-company transfers be renewed?
Yes, an ICT can be renewed if the transferee spends one year outside of Canada. If the transferee has spent time outside of Canada during his ICT work permit, the transferee may apply for an extension for the period they were outside of Canada.

3. Can the intra-company transferee apply for Canadian permanent residence?
Yes, the intra-company transferee can use their Canadian work experience to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

4. Can the transferee’s spouse work in Canada?
Yes, the ICT’s spouse can apply for an open work permit to work in Canada.

5. Can the ICT’s children attend Canadian schools?
Yes, the intra-company transferee’s children can benefit from Canada’s free public schools.

Do You Want to Transfer Employees To Canada?

Relocating international employees involves complicated immigration laws and regulations. Employers have the best chance for a seamless intra-company transfer to Canada with the help of an immigration lawyer to guide you through the application process.

Contact the experienced Canada business immigration lawyers at Ackah Business Immigration Law today at (403) 452‑9515 or email us directly.